The sheer volume of television both currently on air and available to stream is daunting. It's nigh impossible even for those who track TV for a living to keep up with it all. At this point, the curators need curators.
We could recommend many shows from Rectify, to The Knick, to The Leftovers, to Mr. Robot, but here are just three currently on that air that you may have missed.
A gripping spy thriller, one piece of mesmerizing horror, and a cleverly realized science fiction adventure are all on tap and all easy to catch up on if you're a first time viewer.
This criminally under-watched FX spy drama is arguably the best television series currently on the air. Set in the 1980s during the height of the Cold War, The Americans challenges the audience to view the world through the eyes of the “enemy,” as we follow two CGB agents posing as U.S. citizens. The period setting of the piece makes the perspective easier for many to give over to as an exercise, and it”s one well worth engaging in. Not only does this series provide rich character portraits, gripping drama, and some of the most nuanced performances on TV, but it asks us each to define what distinguishes “us” from “them” (the other).
It's also just a ton of fun, frankly.
Where to watch:
Wednesday 10PM on FX or next day on Hulu.
All previous seasons on Amazon.
This Victorian-era horror series is better than it has any right to be. It elevates the notion of the “monster-mash” by weaving some of literature”s most iconic creatures and characters in a series that is as poetic as it is chilling. Penny Dreadful presents a Frankenstein”s monster that is closer to the novel”s interpretation than perhaps any we have seen to date, even as it plays with just who and what Dracula is or can be. The greatest achievement of the series may very well be a created character, though. Eva Green”s Vanessa Ives is as complex, haunted, and compelling a hero as we”ve ever seen on television. She is entirely unleashed in her portrayal, and the depths of her performance leave the audience stunned week after week. If you are a fan of the genre, or simply love the marriage of gorgeous writing and fearless portrayals, this is one you should not be missing.
Where to watch:
Sunday 10PM on Showtime.
Previous seasons on Showtime”s streaming service.
Some have been resistant to this adaptation of Terry Gilliam”s film of the same name. However, if they give it a chance, science fiction fans will be pleased to see that this series is in no way an aping (yep) of Gilliam”s style. Creators Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett establish a distinct tone in the pilot, and though they share characters and hit the major beats of the movie, 12 Monkeys the series truly is its own animal.
Because they have more space with which to tell their story, the creators are able to explore both the characters and implications of time travel with far greater depth. Each episode sweeps us along a sprawling adventure even as it defies both the viewer and the characters to choose between belief in fate and free will…One part Lost, one part Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and one part a new creation, 12 Monkeys is smart, sharply-written, and highly entertaining science fiction that is well worth any genre fan”s time.
Where to watch:
Mondays at 9/8c on Syfy.
Season 1 is available on Hulu.